Harry Potter fans everywhere are cursing Warner Bros. studio after word got out that the former is trying hard to stop the annual Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill from bringing magic to their summer.
As festival planners began planning the 8th annual Harry Potter annual festival they were contacted by Warner Bros. who told them they were not permitted to use any named or images associated with the Harry Potter franchise, according to Chestnut Hill Local.
Image Via Maggie Andresen/Temple News
This is certainly not the first time Warner Bros. has stepped in as they have repeatedly interfered with affiliated merchandise and events, from Harry Potter-themed condoms to Diagon Alley-esque shops, in the past. The big Hollywood studio currently owns all the rights and licenses for the names and images of the films and books so there doesn’t seem to be much the festival owners can do to stop it.
Or is there? Harry Potter fans sure hope so, as many have turned to JK Rowling in hopes that she can step in. Here are just a few of the many responses.
@jk_rowling Ms. Rowling, every year a town outside Philly (Chestnut Hill) would host the largest gathering of Potter fans for a weekend long Potter festival, garnering 50,000 fans to gather in celebration and happiness. @wbpictures sent a cease/desist letter and shut it down :(.
@jk_rowling what can Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia) do to be able to continue the tradition of our Harry Potter festival? This is a major blow to philly. Especially because warner bro makes so much money off of the name. We just want to celebrate our love
@jk_rowling the annual Chestnut Hill Harry Potter themed festival has drawn ire from Warner Bros. Would you consider making an appearance, even if they cant use the name if you were to attend it would add so much to the festival.
@jk_rowling, please save the Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill, PA. It’s a joyful event that brings your fans together as well as supporting local businesses and @WarnerBrosEnt is trying to shut it down. #savetheHPfestival
George R. R. Martin is stepping away from family-unfriendly HBO and branching into more family-friendly territory with Warner Bros. Animation to adapt his 1980’s children’s book The Ice Dragon.
Image Via Amazon UK
The Ice Dragon takes place separate from the Seven Kingdoms, instead taking place in a world of medieval fantasy in which fire breathing dragons are used as weapons. The story follows a young girl named Adara, who secretly befriends a rare Ice Dragon.
You know how whenever a new book adaptation is announced, someone goes, “Why can’t they come up with their own ideas nowadays?” While that person isn’t wrong, they are missing the big picture. The reality is movie makers have been looking to literature for inspiration since the early days of moving pictures.
Although a lot of people don’t watch silent movies anymore (on account of them being colorless and soundless), some of our best movies came out between the late 1800s and 1930. The Library of Congress has suggested up to 75% of all silent films made during that era are lost. Most are lost either because studios intentionally tossed the reels (as they were bulky, and thus pricey to store), or because the silver nitrate film the silent movies were shot on were highly combustible (they were).
That leaves us with essentially a thirty-year cultural black hole that can never be filled. It’s unfortunate for book lovers too because we’re missing out on some important adaptations that came out during that period. Here are just a few amazing book adaptations that are, in all likelihood, lost forever.
1. The Adventures of Pinocchio (1936)
Image Via Wikipedia
Based on Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, Raoul Verdini and Umberto Spano’s film was meant to be Italy’s first animated feature film. Not only that, but it also would have beaten Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as the first cel animated movie. Because of production issues, though, the film was never finished. Only the script and a few frames are left of what certainly would have changed, at least, the world of animation. Had it been completed, it might have hampered Walt Disney’s 1940 second animated feature film: Pinocchio.
2. The Monster of Frankenstein (1920)
Based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this Italian adaptation directed by Eugenio Testa faced some major censorship issues. One cut of the film was allegedly only 39-minutes long. Now only some marketing material and stills are left.
3. Treasure Island (1920)
Image Via Wikipedia
Although it came out in 1920, this adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel was the fifth and most over-the-top one. It starred Lon Chaney (of The Phantom of the Opera fame) as both Blind Pew and Merry, and reportedly featured hand-colored sequences. At the time, color could not be shot and recorded, but it could be added after the shoot in a factory. With paint. Only a few stills of this one remain.
4. Wuthering Heights (1920)
Directed by A. V. Bramble, this was the first adaptation of the Emily Brontë classic. Now it’s gone.
5. The Adventures of Mr. Pickwick (1921)
Based on Charles Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers, this comedy would have been the first feature-length adaptation of the book. Unfortunately, it’s gone. It’s so unfortunate, in fact, that the British Film Institute (BFI) included it on their “75 Most Wanted” list of lost films.
6. Tarzan the Mighty (1928)
Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Jungle Tales of Tarzan, Jack Nelson and Ray Taylor’s Tarzan the Mighty is notable for one particular reason: It’s the film that originated the famous swinging technique later aped (haha) by other adaptations. Frank Merrill, National Gymnastics champion, came up with Tarzan’s famous vine swing, which is now one of the most defining images of the character.
7. Anna Karenina (1915)
J. Gordon Edwards’ movie was the first American adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel. Alas, unfortunately, it has been lost to time.
8. Romeo and Juliet (1916)
Image Via Wikipedia
Another J. Gordon Edwards film lost to time, this Shakespeare adaptation (Romeo and Juliet is obviously a play, not a book, but still) was released in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It was produced by Fox.
The thing is, Fox was not the only studio releasing Shakespeare films at the time. Metro Pictures had a Romeo and Juliet film starring Francis X. Bushman coming out. According to Bushman, Fox had spies working for Metro who stole intertitles from the movie and used it in their own. Fox then rushed their adaptation along to beat Metro’s. Now the Fox version is lost, but the Metro one isn’t. I guess, in the end, Fox got its comeuppance.
9. The Beautiful and Damned (1922)
Image Via IMDb
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, this movie has a pretty hilarious backstory. Due to it being a Warner Bros. movie, Jack L. Warner wanted to ensure audiences turned out for it. His idea was to arrange an on-set marriage between the film’s leads: Marie Prevost and Kenneth Harlan. Word was sent out to the press, and a bunch of fans sent congratulatory goodies to the couple.
The thing is, Prevost was secretly still married to her first husband. The Los Angeles Mirror found out about this before Warner, and ran this headline: “Marie Prevost Will Be a Bigamist if She Marries Kenneth Harlan.” Enraged, Warner worked to annul Prevost’s marriage. Eventually the media frenzy quieted and Harlan and Prevost were just quietly married instead.
Audiences still turned out to see the movie, and critics seemed to like it too. Everybody was on board except for F. Scott Fitzgerald, who said to a friend, “It’s by far the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life—cheap, vulgar, ill-constructed and shoddy. We were utterly ashamed of it.” Whoops. Well, at least it’ll never be seen again? Still, I’d love to see that on-screen chemistry between Prevost and Harlan. Oh, by the way, they divorced three years later.
Harry Potter fans of the world, rejoice! Just when you thought the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located at Universal Studios in Orlando, was as good as it’d get, this new thing came along! This summer, set sail on a brand-spanking new Harry Potter adventure: a themed cruise down the Thames River where guests will visit major filming locations used in the eight films.
Image Via NYDailyNews
The Barge Ladies cruise company are behind this week-long extravaganza aptly named “The Harry Potter Magic Cruise.” Its prospective dates will be August 5th – 11th and August 19th – 25th. The same company will be running another themed cruise in April of this year based around the hit ITV show Downton Abbey. The Harry Potter cruise, aboard the vessel Magna Carta, is intended for small groups of up to eight people. It will include Harry Potter-inspired meals prepared by gourmet chefs. Some of the sites to see along the cruise include Virginia Water, where Harry and the gentle hippogriff Buckbeak meet, and Picket Post Close which served as the filming location for 4 Privet Drive.
Image Via BargeLadyCruises
There’s only one catch to this incredibly exciting opportunity for Potterheads across the globe: tickets for “The Harry Potter Magic Cruise” cost a little over $4,000 per person. But who knows? If you happen to visit your personal vault at Gringotts Bank, and find a few extra galleons lying around, perhaps you and yours can take part on this truly magical adventure as well.
All three of Donna Tartt’s novels constitute three of my favorite books. They’re vast, intricate, dark, and cinematic. And yet none have yet been adapted for the big screen. That is about to change, however, with the news breaking that Warner Bros. finalized a deal with Amazon Studios to co-finance a film version of The Goldfinch.
Reader, I LOVE The Goldfinch. It is just supreme. And I must say, thus far I have not been overwhelmed by the choice of actors. Sarah Paulson is the third actor to be officially announced as part of the cast of the upcoming adaptation of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, and this is the first time one of these announcements has made me really happy.
The first actor to join the cast was Ansel Elgort about whom I am deeply ambivalent. Aneurin Bernard of Dunkirk fame then signed on as Boris. He definitely looks the part, so I wasn’t too miffed, but haven’t seen Dunkirk and therefore cannot judge him. However, Sarah Paulson will be a perfect Xandra. I am buzzed to see her take on the role of Theo’s (Elgort) dodgy Las Vegas-based stepmother.
Image Via Wikipedia
If you have yet to read The Goldfinch (I envy you, you’ve such a treat in store) then let me give you a brief synopsis, courtesy of Amazon:
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love–and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
Still need to be convinced? Stephen King, no less, had this to say about Tartt’s masterpiece, upon its publication in 2013:
The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.
I cannot tell you how much I loved this book and am therefore very apprehensive about any attempts to adapt it. However, Sarah Paulson’s involvement puts me at ease because everything she’s in tends to be good and I trust her. Fingers crossed.